Antedating of "self-portrait"

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Tue Nov 19 14:11:38 UTC 2013

1815, as a self-description

"For a catalogue of private virtues, if we may believe you, sir Harry...though it must be admitted you are rather contradictory in your self-portrait."
The bachelor's journal: inscribed (without permission) to the girls of England

Vol. 1. pp. 94-95, London: Printed at the Minerva-Press for A. K. Newman and Co., 1815. 252 pp. [NCCO]

Stephen Goranson

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Hugo [hugovk at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 8:35 AM
Subject: [ADS-L] Antedating of "self-portrait"

"self-portrait" (OED: 1831)

Seeing as "selfie" is Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year and I already provided the earliest 2002 quotation, let's look at "self-portrait". :)


November 1821, letter in The Country constitutional guardian and literary magazine, Vol. 1, published 1822, "Sir Robert Wilson, And His Correspondence", page 44:

Now, under such circumstances, a reasonable man, and a man so conscious of his innocence, so proud of his reputation, and such a good self-portrait painter too, would surely have referred the cause of grievance to the source from whence it arose--but no : " To be backed by the electors of Southwark was a good bolster."

Also! See the same page!!!! for extreme use of exclamation marks!!!!!!!



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